Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg: No. 1 Prospect in Baseball?

In anticipation of the unveiling on Wednesday night of MLB.com's list of the Top 50 Prospects in baseball on the MLB Network's "Top 50 Prospects Countdown", MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo has been featuring guest hosts on his MLB blog, B3: Big Bold and Beautiful, who are providing their own Guest Rankings of the top prospects, and so far, four of the first five writers asked chose Atlanta Braves' outfielder Jason Heyward over Washington Nationals' starter Stephen Strasburg, with one even going so far to note alongside Heyward's name, that choosing the 20-year-old '07 1st Round pick as the top prospect was a, "(Very easy call over Strasburg - for me, at least)."

As a group, the writers of Project Prospect.com decided recently that even though their readers, (collectively, in a Twitter poll) chose Strasburg over Heyward as the nation's top prospect, the Project Prospect writers believed three players: 3. Yankees' catcher Jesus Montero, 2. Rays' CF Desmond Jennings and 1. Braves' RF Jason Heyward, belonged ahead of Strasburg on their list, noting that though the Nats' 21-year-old right-hander, "May emerge as a No. 1 as soon as '10; painful mechanics will lead to arm injury."

(ed. note - "This isn't the first time scouts have mentioned how Strasburg's delivery might eventually lead to an arm injury. Project Prospects' Lincoln Kennedy wrote about the issues which may trouble the right hander earlier this fall in an article entitled, "Stephen Strasburg Scouting Report" and Kyle Boddy of the SB Nation's Driveline Mechanics made some unwelcome comparisons between Strasburg and another former 1st Round pick in an article from 2008 entitled, "Quick Note: Stephen Strasburg", which provided video evidence of what several writers see as a problem in his mechanics.")

Before the 2009 season, Jason Heyward was ranked as the third-best prospect in baseball behind Tampa Bay left-hander David Price and Baltimore backstop Matt Wieters, but by the time MLB.com updated their list in a late July article by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo entitled, "Top 50 Prospects: Much Has Changed", Heyward had risen to the top as a result of an '09 campaign (which obviously wasn't over then but) which eventually saw the Georgia-born left-handed hitting and throwing outfielder hit for a combined .323 AVG with a .408 OBP, .555 SLG, (.963 OPS), 25 doubles, 17 HR's and 63 RBI's...Stephen Strasburg followed up on a near-perfect (13-1) junior season at San Diego State University in which he posted a 1.32 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP in 15 starts and 109.0 IP over which he walked just 19 (1.6 BB/9) and struck 195 (16.1 K/9), with an Arizona Fall League campaign that saw Strasburg go (4-1) with a 4.26 ERA and 23 K's in 5 starts and 19.0 IP. 

Will the Braves' outfielder remain the best prospect in baseball or will Washington's future ace jump to the top of the list. Wednesday night at 8:00 pm EST, the folks at the MLB Network will unveil their list...

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